by Layla Anwar
"They are only little, and no statues have ever been carved or erected in their names. They will forever remain anonymous, except to me.
"I haven't seen their faces, but I've heard their stories. Every saint has a story. No, wait. I have seen their faces. I've seen your filth and your ugliness reflected in theirs. And isn't that what saints are made of? Aren't they made of human filth and greed? Aren't saints the ones who take it all in, absorb all of you, and rescue you from your own garbage? Because, make no mistake, you are garbage. Aren't they the ones who witness the unthinkable, as though undergoing the training to redeem you later, you vermin?
"Well, I have many stories of saints-in-the-making... and is Iraq not the land of gods, goddesses, prophets and saints?
"What you are about to read are true examples of your 'Democracy, Freedom & Liberty'. (How I have come to hate these words! They have become mirrors in which I see your lies written in the blood of anonymous corpses. Alive or dead, we have reached a point were the difference has become so blurred that it hardly matters anymore - because death sentences are issued daily, and the living are dead.)
"They hang saints in Iraq. They lynch them at an early age. They penetrate their insides with words turned swords, daggers, knives - slashing, beheading tiny, anonymous faces with no names. The slaying of saints, little saints.
"She was found abandoned in a Baghdad street. Her name is Rita, like St Rita, the saint who answers your prayers. She was left in the street with her name written on a piece of cardboard attached to her neck like a once loved dog. A 3-year old dog, a puppy, a girl... blind. Rita is blind. Totally blind. In your politically correct jargon, you bastards call it visually impaired, because you're so fucking sensitive, aren't you? Yes, Rita's blind, and she is 3. But that's not all. She has a severely deformed face, a cleft lip that goes all the way up to her nose. Split in the middle, a mirror reflection of how you've split us in the middle in every way. A small mirror of your own deformities, your deformed souls.
"She was feeling her way around, blind, with a cardboard sign around her neck. My name is Rita.
"The local police took her to a hospital. The doctors didn't know what to do with her, the little St Rita. She was just left there in the corridor of the hospital, a hospital that looks and feels like a public toilet because your whores stole the money, the money for the little saints...
"Little St Rita wandered the corridors of this public toilet of a hospital, bumping into broken chairs and beds with no sheets, hungry, waiting for someone to diagnose her condition... the condition of a blind street child deformed by your toxicity and abandoned because no one could feed her anymore in your new Iraq.
"I can't go on. Your filth is making me dizzy, its vapours filling my nostrils. The little saints are poking me. They want to play. Let me take little St Rita's hand and go smell the flowers..." (arabwomanblues.blogspot.com, 27/5/11)
And speaking of malodorous vapours: "In Iraq we see the promise of a multi-ethnic, multi-sectarian democracy. There, the Iraqi people have rejected the perils of political violence for a democratic process, even as they have taken full responsibility for their own security. Like all new democracies, they will face setbacks. But Iraq is poised to play a key role in the region if it continues its peaceful progress. As they do, we will be proud to stand with them as a steadfast partner." (From Obama's 19 May policy speech on the Middle East)